Hong Kong votes to abolish ivory trade by 2021
In a historic move, lawmakers in Hong Kong voted to ban the infamous ivory trade completely by 2021, much to the delight of conservationists. The move follows China’s complete ban on ivory sales that went into effect at the end of last year.
The amendment will phase out the trade in three stages, a time period some conservationists say could be exploited as a loophole and too late for African elephants which continue to be killed in huge numbers. Still, people are hopeful that the ban would help check the dwindling elephant populations in Africa.
“Shutting down this massive ivory market has thrown a lifeline to elephants,” said Bert Wander of global advocacy group Avaaz.
“Today is a great day for elephants. Hong Kong has always been the ‘heart of darkness’ of the ivory trade with a 670-tonne stockpile when international trade was banned in 1989,” said Alex Hofford of WildAid Hong Kong.